It never made sense.
I almost published posts expressing my skepticism about the alleged Jussie Smollet attack twice, but hesitated because it would be terrible to accuse a real crime victim of a hoax. Knowing that the police were working on the case, I assumed that the truth would eventually come out, and now it seems that it has.
Here are the problems I had with the case from the start.
First, at the time of the alleged attack, the temperature was in the low teens and the wind chill was even lower. I don't think muggers typically wander the streets when it's that cold, especially muggers motivated by bigotry rather than money. There aren't enough people out on the streets and it's too cold to wander around looking for such a specific target to mug.
Second, that neighborhood is very dark in the wee hours. How did the muggers spot Smollett? It would have been difficult to recognize from a distance that he was black, never mind that he's gay. It makes no sense that anyone would even prowl that particular neighborhood looking for a gay, black man.
Third, the muggers allegedly shouted "this is MAGA country." That's fuckin' crazy. No one here thinks this is MAGA country. They could have said it, but that's just a weird thing to claim.
Fourth, they wrapped a rope around his neck and poured bleach on him? So these muggers took off in their car, when it was 13 degrees, popped off Lake Shore Drive, then prowled the empty streets of an upscale neighborhood with bleach and a rope hoping they'd find a gay black man, yell "MAGA country!" then pour bleach on him? Maybe if we try to imagine that the attackers knew him and followed him and specifically targeted him, but the whole story strained credulity.
Initially, I thought it was possible that Smollet was attacked by a prostitute and didn't want to admit it. That might explain later reports that he didn't want to give his phone to the police, but someone might not want to give the police their phone for any number of reasons. For example, I wouldn't give the police my phone. I wouldn't want them tracking down my patients and questioning them, and I wouldn't want to be without a phone while the police are going through it. So reports that Smollett didn't give up his phone didn't impress me as especially incriminating. Rather, it was the implausibility of the entire account that left me skeptical.